Taliban in Qatar, with US approval.
Sheikh Hamad overthrew his own father in a bloodless coup in 1995.
"You are next". James Dobbins, US special envoy, meets Sheikh Hamad in Qatar on 23 June 2013. AFP photo.
Sheikh Hamad has played a key role in supporting the rebels in Syria.
Sheikh Hamad has been replaced by his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Sheikh Tamim steered clear of any mention of Syria.
He instead focused on the Palestinian issue, saying Qatar was committed to its struggle with Israel.
In 1998, he graduated from Sandhurst.